Red Cross Urges Blood Donations to Maintain Summer Supply

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood in the weeks surrounding Independence Day to help ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients now and throughout the summer.

Blood donations often decline in the summer months, especially around summer holidays when donors are less available to give. The need for blood doesn’t decrease though – every two seconds, someone in the U.S. requires blood or platelets. In fact, a recent survey of Red Cross blood and platelet donors showed that nearly half knew someone who needed blood or they needed blood themselves.

BLOOD SERVICES IMAGE APPDonors of all blood types are needed now. Schedule an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the Western Missouri Region:

MISSOURI:

Kansas City: July 6, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: Platte County Community Center South, 8875 Clark Ave.

St. Joseph: July 15, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.: Anderson Auto Group, 2207 N. Belt Hwy.

KANSAS:

Atchison: July 11, 2:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 603 N. 8th St.

Download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

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Red Cross, Nexcare and supermodel Niki Taylor Urge Blood Donation for World Blood Donor Day

Niki Taylor wearing American Red Cross T-shirt
Supermodel Niki Taylor is urging people to take part in a blood by the American Red Cross and Nexcare Bandages. Niki says she owes her life to the Red Cross and blood donors after a car accident 15 years ago. (American Red Cross photo)

The American Red Cross is partnering with Nexcare Bandages and supermodel Niki Taylor to urge eligible blood and platelet donors to give this month in honor of World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

This Red Cross has 19 blood donation sites planned this month in Kansas and Missouri locations within its Western Missouri Region.

This is the eighth year the Red Cross and Nexcare Bandages have partnered for the Nexcare Give program.

To honor those who “give” around the world, Nexcare Bandages has developed a limited-edition collection of bandages with the theme “Feel the Beat, Give Blood,” featuring five vibrant dance-inspired designs reflecting different styles and cultures from around the globe.

The limited-edition bandages will be available to those who come out to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross through World Blood Donor Day.

The supermodel spokesperson for Nexcare Give said the effort to get blood donations is a personal one.

“Following a car accident 15 years ago that left me in critical condition, the efforts of the American Red Cross and their brave donors saved my life. In honor of World Blood Donor Day, I am sharing my story and encouraging people around the world to support blood donation, inspiring their friends and families to join the cause,” she said.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a lifesaving blood transfusion. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients at 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

Red Cross blood donor
Donating blood to the American Red Cross helps those in need. This month the Red Cross is partnering with Nexcare Bandages and supermodel Niki Taylor to urge blood and platelet donors to give this month. (American Red Cross photo)

Donors of all blood types are currently needed. For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Here are the planned donation locations in the Western Missouri Region:

KANSAS

Atchison County

Atchison:

June 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Boys & Girls Club – Leaders Save Lives, 1215 Ash

Johnson County

Leawood:

June 28, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m: CreativeOne, 11460 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy.

Lenexa:

June 19, 9 a.m.-1 pm.: Hope Worldwide KC Chapter, 10250 Quivira Rd.

June 29, 3-7 p.m.: Lifetime Fitness, 16851 West 90th St.

Olathe:

June 15, 2:30-6:30 p.m.: 24 Hour Fitness Club 693, 13370 S. Blackfoot Dr.

June 24, 7 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Olathe Police Department, 501 E. Old 56 Hwy.

June 28, 4-8 p.m.: 151st Street Church of Christ, 13875 W. 151st St.

Overland Park:

June 20, 2-6 p.m.: Paul Mitchell School Overland Park, 8731 W. 95th St.

June 22, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.: DoubleTree By Hilton, 10100 College Blvd.

June 23, 3-7 p.m.: Lifetime Fitness OP, 6800 West 138th St.

June 27, 3-7 p.m.: 24 Hour Fitness Overland Park, 12075 Metcalf Ave.

Leavenworth County

Leavenworth

June 20, 3-7 p.m.: Wallula Christian Church, 23785 139th St.

Wyandotte County

Bonner Springs:

June 14, 2-6p.m.: Elm Grove Baptist Church, 15774 Linwood Rd.

Kansas City, Kan:

June 22, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.:  Justice Complex, 710 N. 7th St.

 

MISSOURI

Buchanan County

St. Joseph:

June 14, 2-6 p.m.: City of St Joseph Blood Drive, 401 N. 12th St.

June 23, 2-6 p.m.: Hy-Vee, 201 N. Belt Hwy.

June 29, 2-6 p.m.: East Hills Shopping Center, 3702 Frederick Ave.

Platte County

Kansas City:

June 28, 8 a.m.-noon: Wexford Place, 6500 N. Cosby Ave.

Riverside:

June 28, 2-6 p.m.: Riverside Community Center, 4498 NW High Dr.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals 17 years old (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors now can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Red Cross Urges Heat Safety During Hot Summer Weather

With summer comes dangerously hot weather for the region, and the American Red Cross urges everyone to take caution against the heat for themselves and for their pets.

working wiping sweat off forehead
The summer heat is here and the American Red Cross urges those working outdoors to take extra precautions to avoid being overheated and suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The Red Cross suggests taking periodic rest breaks and drinking plenty of water. (American Red Cross photo)

High temperatures, humidity and hot indoor environments can quickly cause heat-related emergencies including sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Red Cross has some simple tips to help beat the heat:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. The inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees, even with the windows cracked open.
  • Slow down, take frequent breaks and drink more water than usual, even if you aren’t thirsty.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors that will absorb the heat of the sun.
  • Stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day and postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by heat.
  • Check on your pets frequently to make sure they aren’t suffering from the heat.

Heat exhaustion signs include: Cool, moist pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; exhaustion.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a color place; remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet clothes or towels to the skin; fan the person; have them slowly drink small amounts of cool water; watch for changes in condition. If a person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.

 Heat stroke can be life threating and the signs to watch for include: Hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Move the person to a cooler place and quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice. Call 9-1-1 if a person shows signs of a heat stroke.

Your pet is part of your family and, like any family member, deserves to be cared for and protected. But unlike humans, they can’t tell you how they feel or what’s wrong with them.

cats on chair
Summer heat can impact pets as well as people. Pet owners need to pay particular attention to their animals to make sure they aren’t affected by the hot weather. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Heat stroke also is a common problem for animals in warmer weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts are prone to heat stroke. This also is true of any obese pet, a pet with extremely thick fur, or any pet with upper respiratory problems.

Some signs of a heat stroke in your pet are: Heavy panting and inability to calm down, even when lying down; brick red gum color; fast pulse rate; inability to get up. Heat stroke can lead to sever organ dysfunction and damage.

If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take its temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down with a water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees and bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Pet owners need to be aware that animals may try to get out a window or door which are more likely to be open in warmer weather.

The free Red Cross Emergency App provides instant access to expert heat safety tips. Users also have the option of receiving alerts for excessive heat watches, warnings and heat advisories. The Red Cross Pet First Aid App has steps pet owners should take to keep their pets safe during hot weather. People can find the apps in their app store by searching American Red Cross and at redcross.org/apps

People can learn how to prevent and respond to heat-related and other emergencies by taking a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED or Advance Child Care Training course. A variety of online and in-class options are available. Course and registration information is available at redcross.org/takeaclass

Red Cross Steps Help People to Prepare, Cope in Face of Tragedy

People may experience a variety of feelings and thoughts after something like the devastating mass shooting in Orlando. The American Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of this tragedy.

Something like this is upsetting for everyone involved. People near the emergency are affected, as well as people all over the country who may have family in the Orlando area; who may know someone who was affected; or people who are watching the media coverage of this tragic situation. It is difficult to understand why something like this happens or what may happen in the future.

American Red Cross volunteer hugging woman
American Red Cross volunteers are there to provide comfort and support in the worst of times. (American Red Cross photo)

Children are especially at risk as they may become afraid that the event will happen again, or that they or someone in their family may be injured or killed. The injuries and fatalities are difficult for them to understand. It is important to reassure children and talk to them in a calm manner. Their view of the world as a safe and predictable place is temporarily lost. How a parent or other adult reacts around the child following a traumatic event can determine how quickly and completely the child recovers.

People may be experiencing many different emotions like fear, anger, confusion, shock, disbelief, sadness and grief. These are all normal feelings after this type of event.

People’s reactions appear in different ways, not only in the way someone feels, but in the way they think and what they think about; their sleeping habits, how they go about daily living; and the way they interact and get along with others. Here are a few steps to help people cope:

  • Stay informed, but limit exposure to media coverage of the events.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
  • Stay connected with your family and other support systems. Reach out and accept help from others.
  • Encourage children: to express their feelings and thoughts. Reassure them about their safety.

To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

The events in Orlando emphasize the importance of knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Even as first responders rushed into help, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by citizen responders nearby who were trained in CPR and first aid. Whether the emergency is community-wide and involves numerous injuries, or involves a single individual being hurt at home, it is vital that someone close by knows what to do when such an emergency occurs.

Prepare for the unexpected with First Aid/CPR/AED training from the Red Cross. Training can give you the skills and confidence to act in an emergency and to save a life. Red Cross offers a variety of online, blended (online content with in-class skills session) and instructor-led classroom training offerings. Register at redcross.org/takeaclass.

People can also download the Red Cross First Aid App for mobile devices to have information at their fingertips on what to do for the most common first aid emergencies. The app includes step-by-step instructions, videos and animations on how to handle a variety of first aid situations including how to control bleeding and how to perform Hands-Only CPR. Other features include a Hospital Locator and preloaded content (also available in Spanish) – allowing you to access what you need even without mobile service. The First Aid app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Red Cross Volunteers in Missouri Go to Texas to Help in Flood Relief

American Red Cross volunteers from Southern Missouri are among those going to Texas to help with the massive flood relief efforts in that state.

Ten volunteers this week from Greene, Jasper, Taney, Laclede, Douglas and Hickory counties headed to Austin and Houston to work in damage assessment and sheltering.

Red Cross volunteers from around the country have been responding to the devastating flooding after some parts of Texas received 19 inches of rain over the holiday weekend.  Some 300 Red Cross volunteers are providing shelter, meals, health services and emotional support with partners like Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

This map from The Weather Channel shows the amount of rainfall in Texas during the month of May. The rainfall has caused flooding throughout large portions of the state. Red Cross volunteers are in Texas helping those displaced by the high water.
This map from The Weather Channel shows the amount of rainfall in Texas during the month of May. The rainfall has caused flooding throughout large portions of the state. Red Cross volunteers are in Texas helping those displaced by the high water.

“This part of the country has been hit with multiple disasters for months now, and the Red Cross has been helping from day one,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Our volunteers will remain in these communities in the weeks ahead to make sure people get the help they need.”

Since the beginning of the year, numerous storms have ravaged the state, displacing thousands of families and devastating homes and businesses. Last spring, Texas also suffered a rash of floods, tornadoes and storms that destroyed thousands of homes and uprooted families in more than 100 counties.

Over the weekend, Brenham, Texas, located about 65 miles northwest of Houston, received 18 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Houston, which has been hammered with severe weather and flooding for several months, was again in the storm’s path and people were forced to leave their homes.

The threat isn’t over – weather experts predict flooding will continue for several more days. Emergency officials estimate that some 6,000 homes may be affected. The Red Cross is monitoring the ongoing threat for more flooding and is setting up in areas that are likely to be hit by the next onslaught of bad weather later this week.

The Red Cross has opened or is supporting 15 shelters in Texas to help people forced from their homes by ongoing mandatory evacuations. Red Cross volunteers will also be delivering relief supplies as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Red Cross is monitoring the ongoing threat for more flooding and is setting up in areas that are likely to be hit by the next onslaught of bad weather later this week.

From Spring 2015 through mid-April this year,  the Red Cross has spent or committed some $10.2 million for disaster relief in Texas, with 48 percent for food, shelter and relief items; 45 percent for individual emergency assistance and recovery; 6 percent for health and emotional support; and 1 percent to support community recovery.

You can help people affected by disasters in Texas and elsewhere by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The threat of severe weather isn’t limited to Texas, so download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are OK. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.